tv The Stream Al Jazeera February 14, 2014 7:30pm-8:01pm EST
hi, i am lisa fletcher and you are in "the stream." the way society views it sternal has. couples talk about the victories, the hurdles and some of the biggest surprises of mix-race relations. ♪ ♪ our digital producer is here bringing in all of our live feedback. we asked the viewers, put them to quite a challenge, asked them to tell us their love store any 140 characters. >> most obliged. the question of guess who is coming to dinner in 2014, a
bunch of multi-racial kids and most of america doesn't care. which is a good sign. ryan tweets, how about a relationship with multiple cultures clashing. a i'm white american, my fiancé palestinian and latin american. brian, you are ahead of the curve my friend. living life, leo says he met his wife as a fraternity and they have been together ever since, that was 20 plus years ago, we weren't trying to go interracial but weren't opposed to it. size an cats miller, i am a jewish girl married for a property stand. and that should, a sitcom. there are challenges and hurdles. he posted this link to interracial dating through white eyes. and it says, look, look at this, asian men are desexualized. black men objective identified. black women sex fantasy. some stereo types. >> that's incentive. and incredibly stereotypical. >> you don't like it?
>> no. my folks wouldn't have cared who i married as long as he loved me and i love him. you are pakistani. what would they have done if you didn't marry a pakistani girl. >> two years ago my mom said in a parking lot i wouldn't minds if you didn't marry a girl that wasn't pakistani. >> did you fall over? >> it was amazing, i wish she would have told me that at 21. a dream that every pakistani kid wants to hear, but i think it was because i was post 30 and single. >> yeah. >> but i hope that if i did bring home a girl who was not pakistani, that they would be open minded enough and i think that they would be. >> you brought home an makes woman. >> thank you. >> i think your mom was reverse psychologying you. >> i think so. >> more than one in 10 marriages are between people of different races and ethnicities. hard to believe that it was actually illegal to marry outside your race. in 1958, only 4% of americans arrived of black-why marriages. today that number is 87%. even so, there are still plenty
of challenges to cross-cultural love. >> a person's father refuse today speak with me simply because i was black and trying to date their daughter. now, this made me feel like less than a human. i was in their house, being respectful and he wouldn't speak to me. at first i thought maybe he's just so racist he won't speak to any black people. i can deal with that. them i saw him speak to another black person. it was just me that he hated. because i cared about someone that he cared about. >> so as diversity continues to grow in the united states. what challenges remain for the most important bond between couples and their families when race and ethnicity play a role? the best answers come from those who are actually living what we are talking b the experts based on experience. we are please today welcome our guests married more than 35 years. grace celebrated her 15 year an versely rhodanniversary and hav.
and she and her latino boyfriend have been together for nearly three years, thanks to all of you join is us tonight. we have interested in hearing how you all met. i want to start start with you, take us back to that fate. faithful day back in 1968. >> i was a sophomore at syracuse university and i was walking to a class some some voice inside of me told me to turn around and go back to the frat house. i just turned around and walked back. and that was april 29th, 1968. and we were both 19 years old. i saw her standing in the living room of a fraternity house and within 10 minutes i knew that she was the lady for me. and we met and was kind of love at first sight i guess. she happened to be on the road from detroit, michigan and i was like i say at syracuse and we have been together ever since. we are in our 46th year right
now. >> back when you and kathy met it wasn't strange to see a black man and eye white woman. but it was unusual to see a white man and a black woman. i bet that caught a lot of attention at that point? >> i would say so. [inaudible] >> you know what, we are going to try to clear up your audio and get back to that. i want to go to grace and dave, though. tell us how you guys met. more than 14 years ago now. >> yeah, we met on a summer missions trip. we were both college students and both took a look at each other and just said, no. we are never going there. >> no, because of the interim racial aspect of it? >> oh, yeah. i just decided i was never going to consider a white guy at all. and he, i think thought i was a hoy mama. [laughter] >> on my end. i was walking in to the building as a college student thinking i wonder if my future wife is here
anwalked around and looked aroud and said no. grace today i think is i can extremely beautiful, but back then even our cultural lenses for viewing beauty she just wasn't on my radar. >> and he wasn't on mine. >> when did you get on each other's radar? >> it was a couple of years later. it was actually because of the fact that we didn't consider each other that we were able to big really good friends. we were really good friends for two, two and a half year old and we realized we liked each other after that time. >> we have our community chiming in here. i think many people make the mistake of thinking interracial marriage is a solution to. couldn't be less true. >> black women and asian men, black women are fetish eyesed. and asian men desexualized. there is the fear of possibly being labeled as a traitor, from your own race. juliet you want to go with you, i was born and raided in , a lot of my friends are asian americans some of my best friends are asian american, just
joking with that one. you are in a an interracial relationship. you have a white boyfriends. a lot of my friends see it is a a dison them and a betrayal. have you had to deal with that type of backlash from your community? >> yeah, that's one of the things that i deal with every day. >> a run a blog and it puts me in the public eye more than most people. 100 percent of the hostile messages i eve are about my love lie, my choice of partner. are about how i am a race traitor or -- i have been called horrible things because of my relationship. >> and this is primarily from those within your community, juliet. >> yeah, mostly inside the community. mostly asian-american males. i came up with a term for it called bitter asian dude.
>> do you consider those bitter asian dudes racist? >> i think that it's a lot of inteintersecting things going o. i think there might be this idea that asian women are their territory and therefore they are entitled to our attention, whether it's as friendship or as romantic partners, but the instant that we date someone who is outside of the community, it's seen oftentimes as a sign of betrayal. and people still think that we are actually racist because we are not dating someone who a similar background. >> i want to get back to you now. to reconnect on that initial question about what it was like being a white mandating a black woman in 1968. because that's about as far off the norm as you could have gotten then. >> yeah, back in the '60s it was a little unusual. but the previous lady said the word territory, i have gotten slapped from i guess gun-toting
pickup truck drivers they chased us home a few times. and of course the gentlemen, the brothers in the hood also chased us home a few times because they thought i was invading their territory. and so this has been something that we have overcome in the early years of our relationship. i have never really had problems other than, you know, those things on the sidewalk, on the street in syracuse. we lived in an off-campus apartment. probably if we had been on campus it wouldn't have happened. but we did have to go through some potentially violent situations. >> indicatekathy, how significae these things changed in the last 40 year old? how significant has it seemed for you? >> oh, i think quite a bit. back in the '60s things start today change because we were part of the generation, the hippy generation, and people tended -- a the least our crowd, the people that we associate
with tended not to have those problems. and i think, because there was so much change, so much radical change that took place in the society back in the late '60s and early '70s i think that that helped us. when we became [inaudible] that changed the scenario totally. because we were set and because we were of different ethnicities or racial groups which i don't real like to use that term able groupings. it really didn't matter that much. we did not have that problem. >> our community here has a little bit of skepticism, lisa, matt says the public is still nowhere near accepting of black and white marriages, not like it accepts the white-asian or white-hispanic marriage. family members expressing anything at this views of our partner and not being supportive is one of the biggest challenges in being in a multi-racial relationship. any problems that occur, i told you so is the response. and we got our own ray suarez
who says told my parents i was getting engaged to a woman of another religion, they said, okay, per mother not happy and that was 34 years ago. >> wow. >> yeah. >> coming up, the external pressures on interim racial couples can be significant. but how does that translate to their interpersonal relationships especially when you add kids to the mix? our guests will take you behind the scene on his that one when we come bark. but first you can interact with the stream beyond twitter and facebook. check out this app it's especially designedded to use during our show. tv is no longer one way with "the stream" second screen app. share your thoughts during the live show. disagree with one of our guests, great, tell us. get exclusive app content. interact with other app users in real time. you can be our third co-host. vote, tweet, record video comments and we'll feature them on air. use the app and drive our community's discussions on live tv. this literally puts you in the control room. download it now at
♪ ♪ we especially like seeing the joy of those cross krul trail relationships as those are images of our friends and colleagueses right here at "the stream." if you are just joining us we are talking about our state of evolution as a society when it comes to cross cultural and interracial relationships, we have come a long way but there are still challenges. grace, i am sure there were problems between the two of you that you can probably relate to race and culture. >> for sure. >> give me an example of one that might standout for you. >> sure, probably just want to
go do and live life differently. even vacations he would just kind of rather camp and i would rather always be at the beach. that seems like eye little thing, but those kind of things add up and production a lot of friction and goes all wait out to relationships and -- >> that's not so much a white-black thing. is there anything that came up because of the i want racial nature of your -- of your relationship that you didn't expect prior to getting married and you got married and you are like, oh, i didn't know we were going to clash on this? >> i'm even some of our parenting values we realize overtime are different culturally even in terms of rear sensor growing up in the neighborhood and they were family to one another. we realized things like what it means to share toys and what it nineteens to be generous, we probably both have different definitions of. >> yeah. >> i am going get community here. questions about how you will raise your children, always come
up when you are in this type of relationship. even from strangers. lori says it is difficult to have each foot in a different world. often torn especially when one culture has been or is oppressive of the other. it's hard to turn things that are raised to believe. living life as leo says one narrative not covered is our lives are normal we have the same challengeses drive ups as other people but we have a child from a multi relationship couple, jessica give her a message. >> i think it's h he san essento have a wares the my each ethnicity. for others that may not be the case for a variety of reasons, at the time, i think it's important to recognize that for mean people, my sister included, the minority ethnicity is not necessarily the presented ethnicity and the self awareness and validity from coming from
assuring people that you are may not be worth it. >> juliet i am going with you, you haven't had kids yet but you heard that community comment. how important do you think is it for a child in this cupping, from this couple to really be aware of that minority aspect of their identity? or do you think we are in a situation still and in this age, today, where it is still safer to be seen as white? >> so my personal belief is i really value self identification, so i have friends who identify as mi mixed race and we have talked about how important it is to learn about all sides of your ethnicity, all sides of your background, but in the end it's still up to the person to choose what or how they want to identify. and if that means, you know, wanting to identify as something that may be presents as, you know, a quote, unquote safe ed
let at this, that woulsafer ethnicities that's their chicago. >> what did it mean to you guys with your kids. that there would be an issue with mixed identity and something that they would have to choose or is that something that you worked out ahead of time and being on the same page with this? >> we were married for nine years before we had children. our first child was born in the ninth year of our relationship and they did come out kind of more like me, if you will. my wife has had some kind of problems over the years when people and the girls who is that lady with you. they say that's my mother, what do you mean? we say what do you mean? is that your father's wife or is that your mother? and so they have to explain that, because they came out more like me you might say. we have really never had that problem staring us in the face, but whenever you have parents
that resist their children cross that go so-called racial line, they always use that excuse, oh, what about the kids? it will be too bad for our kids. look at our society in america, we have all kind of beautiful carob and carmel and mocha beautiful children walking around here. the future is -- time is on our side for the future. 87% of our pima prove of this, where is as you said 4% approved many years ago. >> grace and dave, do either of you feel the need to expose your kids more to each other's race than your own? >> absolutely. and we try to do that in a lot of ways and make sure that they are reading -- not just our own race but reading a variety of authors and looking at images from the diversity that's presents in our country and the world. we feel like it's important that any know and value a that. >> it was very hard. i remember going to the kids'
bookstore to get a bible for them when they were young and i spent two hours looking through every kid bible and it seemed like the hole year the character and the pictures the whiter they were. and i took two hours to find one where the people in the stories actually had different skin colors and were darker and that's the one i got. i wanted them to be them and others are darker skin represented. >> kathy, do you find that mixed-race couples when you talk amongst each other do you have different definitions of diversity? not couple of couple, but your husband versus you or dave, and grace, between the two of you, do you have different definitions? >> i don't think so. i can't recall having that. i wanted to add to the conversation about the children. and he said that he went to find the bible. it used to be very, very difficult to find brown dolls
and i would always want to get my girls a doll that was pink like their father, because they always refer to their father as pink, right. and a brown doll that looked like me i found a book that actually had like, you know, a pink daddy and a brown mommy and this kind of thing. so we always try to have a balance in the girls lives and so they have a balanced perspective and they would actually love the whole of themselves, okay? >> yeah. and. >> and it worked out well. but, no, i don't think. we are like night and day and thunder and lightning but we manage. i don't think our perspectives were that different. >> grace, and dave do you have different definitions of diversity? >> i don't think we do. i think we are pretty on the same page with that. >> we have some community coming in. mikey says not just i want
racial couples have problems, but we half bread kids have to deal with identity and social problems and for some people you are never enough of one race to considered that race, so it's like what am i. rafael says they are cute. there's how people see them. great twiddle handle. the most rewarding aspect is speaking each other's language and most challenging debating affirmative action. >> coming up, when are cheerios controversial? since they featured an interracial couple of wh wyomins why is this still controversial.
daddy and mommy. >> and me. >> yeah, that's right. pretty soon, you are going to have a baby brother. >> and a puppy. >> deal. >> and that is how you negotiate. welcome back. we are talking about interracial couples in 2014. and how they can still spark controversy. that was general mills cheerios' super bowl ad that was a response to it's prequel ad because that ad got so much push back. best break we asked people why it is something like this that can still spark controversy. >> i speak of the negative response to that great ad. a dad of a biracial kid that negative response made him sick to think people still act that way is sad. this is why cheerios love family
commercial is so important and makes a statement without making a statement. speaking of statements, interracial couplings have been going on for centuries and yet there is still racism. and mixed child is not post racial jesus. aaron says, i love that commercial. that kid can negotiate. was i supposed to be offended at something in that commercial? that's a good response. >> are you surprised in 2014 such depictions still cause a stir? >> yes, of course. you know, people have lives that, you know, many people are born, they work, they live and die in the same city, they don't go to the next state or the next country. i have been pwhr*eus blessed to be living around the world, 19 times we have gone. i go overseas quite a bit. my fa there are kicked me out of the family when i revealed my relationship with my lovely wife back in the early '70s and then for 30 some years we had a rocky relationship i stayed in touch every few years, something in his defense, my father's
defense, when the bostock red sox won the world series in 2004, for the first time in 86 years, everything changed. there must have been something in the air because my father -- we were all mad red sox fans that's the only thing we agree on and i think he must have fell in love with big papi or something because he called me and said i want to see my great grandson i said you know, dad my daughter married a black man and our grandson is a black boy and he said that's fine. we'll be up in a few days that was my come to jesus moment, why didn't it be good some 30 years ago, why did you have to wait until now? i backed off and i have to respect my father and of course in his defense my daughters met their grandfather when they were 25 and 27 years old. he had refuse today recognize my wife. our conversion to islam. refuse today recognize our daughters in 2004 he finally met them and they have had four good years before he passed a wage at
the age of 92. >> grace, it could have been the red sox but do you think that story could be a testament to times changing? >> i don't know. i am not as optimistic, i think that commercial, i am so glad they did it again, but i think because of the wired world we live in, we know more of the racism that's happening because people are just bold with it. i think it's always been there and it's -- i don't have a lot of hope that things will be great, honestly. >> we have our community talking about representation, especially on main street media advertising does show more really. of i want racial couples but sadly tv really is not there yesterday. outside of scandal, which doesn't count, i don't recall any other media representation of my relationship as a black woman with a white man. and nothing says many struggle through differences in the treatment, expectations and general role of well, a touchy subject for media to cover. jewel yes, sir speaking about media representation, do you think it's getting better when
it comes to the actual representation of reality? and if not, how do we get there? >> i don't -- i mean, it's a tiny step in representing what society actually looks like. i think one thing that i really want to make clear is that i don't think we live in a post racial society. i think that racism is alive and well and the lack of representation of not only interracial relationships but also inter ethnic relationships really shows how much work and how much more we have to do. >> we have about 30 seconds left. dave, i want to give you the last word. look in the crystal ball for me. >> i work on a college campus and i still see students that are largely separated by racial lines and they want to be together, they value diversity, but i think the political correctness of our society keeps us from being comfortable talking about differences. and because they won't talk about their differences they -- i don't think we can understand how to 71 another until we know how our cultures are different
and what different things we need from eac each other. >> and on that note thanks to our guests for a ones of discussion. discussion. until in this time we'll see you online. >> good evening everyone, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. the drought, record dry spell in california as the president visits the region. more money, more votes. if influence of big dollars and the billionaire says, the more money you invest, the more votes you should get. bullying in football. abusive behavior